Red’s Hydrogen One Phone uses Lightfield Display From Leia Inc.

Some time ago we reported on a smartphone to be released by Red, the camera company. The surprising fact about this announcement was that the Android phone would feature a “holographic” display. Now Red has released some more information on the display being used in this phone, which is slated for release in early 2018. The new information comes from a press release announcing a strategic partnership including an investment by Red into Leia Inc., a Silicon Valley start up company developing light field displays. Leia Inc. was founded in 2014 as a technology spin-off from HP Labs. (IC08 Leia Looks to Develop Light Field LCDs)

Lei Inc Diffractive Backlight Layer

Leia has been developing light field “holographic” displays for quite some time. They are using a diffractive light field backplate in combination with special software to create a light field-based image. In other words, 3D with no glasses needed. While the first implementations were based on laser light sources, this latest implementation to be used in the Red smartphone will use an LED backlight and a standard LCD display. If the technology delivers what it promises, this is one field where LCD beats OLED hands down, as OLED displays will not work in the same way.

The solution should allow for thin devices and also allow switching between normal 2D and 3D light field presentation without interfering with the 2D viewing performance too much. First reports of the prototypes are quite favorable, but we have to see how well they can control the nanostructure of the diffractive backlight to allow for a good 2D display image as is expected for all smartphones these days. (NH)